March 31, 2023 – Br. Frederic celebrates his 100th birthday

Exactly one century ago, Br. Frederic opened his eyes to this world. Today, he celebrates one hundred years of life. He has spent 69 years of that life as a monk of Gethsemani.

At our chapter meeting on the Sunday before, Br. Frederic gave us a synopsis of his life. He entered the military after the U.S. declared war on Germany and Japan in 1941. He was assigned to office duties at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. After the service, he trained as an accountant and worked in various firms before he entered Gethsemani in 1954. As a monk, he has held different jobs, but was given mostly business duties, due to his experience. He was instrumental in setting up Gethsemani’s mail order business, selling cheese and fruitcake, which is still the basis of our economy to this day. He spent some years at our foundation in Chile before returning to Gethsemani. He was also in charge of our charity budget for many years, and he made many friends among the residents of the area. He still works the front desk of the retreat house frequently, and is often the first face retreatants see when they come to the abbey.

For his birthday, Br. Frederic was given a seat at the abbot’s table in the refectory, and a special cake, which he graciously shared with the community, and a nice bottle of wine which he shared perhaps a little less graciously with the abbot and the prior. He was also given a t-shirt with Gethsemani’s 175th anniversary logo on one side, and his name with the number 100 emblazoned below it on the other.

Br. Frederic continues in good health, and we wish him many more joyous birthdays to come.